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Upcycle Calendars and Cereal Boxes Into Desk Accessories

Loraine enjoys making crafts and sharing the projects she’s developed. Her crafts include pictured, step-by-step tutorials and templates.


Do You Want to Revamp Your Office Desk?

This upcycling craft will allow you to get that new look inexpensively. You'll learn how to make:

  • a beautiful box to hold supplies
  • a covered datebook
  • pencil holders!

I hate to throw away old calendars because of the beautiful pictures and their paper quality. It's amazing how many items can be made with one calendar. I'm including a photo of all the items I made using just one!


1. Storage Box

1. Mark these measurements on the backside of the cereal box.

  • From the bottom of the box, measure 9 3/4" for a cutting line.
  • From the bottom of the box, measure 8 1/2" and mark with a dotted line. This is a fold line.

2. Make measurement marks on the back side of the cereal box.

  • Measure up 9" from the bottom of the cereal box with a solid (cutting) line.
  • Measure 1 1/2 " down from that mark with a dotted (folding) line.

3. Measure on the front side of the cereal box.

  • Measure 5" from the bottom of the box. This is a cutting line.

4. Measurements for the sides of the cereal box.

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  • Measure and mark 5" up from the bottom of the box.
  • Measure and mark with a dotted line, 3 1/4" up from the 5" line.
  • Measure and mark 1 1/2" up from the 3 1/4" line.

5. Cut the box.

  • Cut down on both sides of the front cereal box panel and across the 5" marked line.
  • Cut across the back and side panels 9 3/4" from the bottom of the box.

6. Measure and mark the side panels 1 1/2" from the box and cut off at the line.


7. Fold along the 1 1/2" dotted line of the box lid being made. I used a stylus to groove the line to make it easier to fold. Cut a slit at the front corners of the lid flap.


8. Measure 1" in from the bottom of the side lid flap and make a mark. Then, draw a line from that mark to the corner of the box. Cut the corner off.


9. Fold the lid sides down and fold the side flaps under the front lid flap.


10. Glue the back side flaps under the front lid flap with craft glue or a glue stick.


11. Cover the box! Choose a calendar page. From the bottom of the calendar picture, measure 5" up and cut.


12. Center and lay the top of the calendar picture over the lid of the box, with the bottom picture edge meeting the bottom of the front lid flap. Press around the top of the lid edges to crease well. Fold at the creases made. Make sharp fold lines.


13. Refer to the photo above and do the following:

  • Cut a slit from the side edges to the front edge of the lid.
  • From the slit to the back of the lid, measure 1 1/2" from the lid towards the sides.
  • Cut off the excess side paper and from the corner of the back lid edge as shown.

14. Apply glue to the back of the calendar picture and adhere it to the lid top. Cut off, or fold under and glue, at the slanted end of the lid flap.Cut a piece of another calendar page or one of construction paper the size of the back of the box, and glue it to the box back.


2. Appointment Book

1. Use the photo as a guide:

  • With the calendar picture side down, center your book on the calendar page.
  • Firmly crease all around the book.
  • Using the crease lines as a guide, make a slanted cut on either side of the book spine and make diagonal cuts across the book cover corners.
  • Fold the spine cuts to the inside of the calendar page.

2. Fit your book inside the calender cover.


3. Apply glue from a glue stick to the calendar cover and adhere it to one side of the book. Then, glue the rest of the cover and finish adhering the cover to the book.


4. You're finished!


3. Pencil Holders

1. Cut a calendar page the height of a clean and dry soup can (or any can that has a flip top opening to avoid sharp edges). Add glue from a glue stick to the entire piece and glue it directly to the can, overlapping the back edges.


2. You're done! These will hold lots of pencils, pens, or markers.


From a Calendar to an Accessory

From one calendar, I covered two storage boxes, two pencil holders, an appointment book, two gift bags, and three smaller boxes. Easy and fun to make.

© 2013 Loraine Brummer

Would you use desk accessories that someone made? - or leave a message. on May 05, 2019:

Thanks so much for sharing this!! We are very excited about doing this. Thanks again!

Rhonda Lytle from Deep in the heart of Dixie on June 14, 2013:

I would use these in a heart beat. They are adorable. The possibilities are endless and I love that art gets to live anew.

EpicFarms on June 13, 2013:

Oh, absolutely! VERY nice lens (and awfully clever crafting ;o)

KyraB on June 12, 2013:

Yes most definitely and what a great idea!

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on June 12, 2013:

These look great and I love how you made that box from the Cheerios box. Genius!

AnnCharlotte on June 04, 2013:

How nice you've done what a good idea, now I know what my next project will be. Just have to find a nice calendar first. Thanks for the tip

PaigSr from State of Confusion on May 27, 2013:

Looks like something fun to do with the kids. Thanks for the ideas.

anonymous on May 26, 2013:

I would use those desk accessories for sure. They are so nice. I save calendars with nice pictures but then have trouble finding ideas for using them. You have some good ideas here.

Cynthia Haltom from Diamondhead on May 25, 2013:

What a clever project, I love when you recycled the cereal boxes and than used an old calendar as you decorative covering. Thumbs up! You did and outstanding job explaining how to do this, it is a project I am going to have to try soon.